Keep Your Eyes Open - Wisdom in the Walk
You Have to See the Prize
"13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you."
Today's post will conclude this series about wisdom in the walk, and I honestly think it's probably the most important point in the series. You must see the prize that is before you.
And what is that prize? Philippians 3:14 says the prize is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. And what is this high calling?
Is it to be great at your job? I doubt it, otherwise, why would Jesus have called Peter and other disciples away from their fishing boats. Is it to be wealthy? No, otherwise, why would Jesus have told the rich young ruler to sell all that he owned to follow him? Is it to be the picture of health? No, otherwise why would Paul have suffered with a thorn in the flesh.
Now that's not to say that we should all quit our jobs, sell everything we own and let ourselves become unhealthy slobs. I think Jesus was just trying to show these people and us, that the things in THIS world aren't the MOST important things.
Think about it, several times when things got hard, Peter ran back to the fishing boat. Jesus wanted Peter to realize that even when Peter didn't understand what was going on around him, that God was still in control. Eventually Peter learned this lesson. Eventually he learned that working for Christ was much more important. And because he learned that lesson, God used him greatly on the day of Pentecost.
We all know that the rich young ruler chose his wealth over Christ. His money was more important to him than his eternal soul. He had such a tight grip on the things in this world that he couldn't see the treasures he could gain in the next.
Paul prayed three times that God would remove his thorn in the flesh, but he had to learn that God's grace was sufficient. Even if Paul didn't understand why he had to suffer, he had to learn that God was with him. Paul used his sufferings to show others that God was faithful to those who trusted in Him.
So if the things of this world aren't the prize, what is this high calling? The high calling is to become perfect, or mature in Christ. To be a true Christian. To be Jesus to the world.
Paul said in Philippians 3:13 that he had not yet reached that goal, but he did say that he was constantly pressing toward it. It was constantly in his sights like the finish line at the end of the race. He vowed to never stop working toward that prize.
We should make that same vow. We should remember that the high calling for each of us is to be Christ-like, to be holy. Then we should strive to be more spiritually mature every single day. If we keep our eyes on that prize, we will not miss it. And when we come to the final end of the race, we will hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
Labels: In the Walk